I remember Donald Pleasence screaming. He’s trapped. A white blood cell is bearing down on him. He’s been shrunk to microscopic size and injected into a human body. It’s the movie Fantastic Voyage, from 1966, and the white blood cell is descending slowly and inexorably toward Donald Pleasence. It oozes over his head and he’s screaming and he dies a terrible death. The special effects at the time, all very practical and weirdly theatrical, presented a white blood cell as basically bubbles from bubble bath. Donald Pleasence screams as a stagehand pours bubble bath bubbles over his head. I mean, that’s how it looks to me now. But at the time, it was utterly horrific. Donald Pleasence screaming as it consumed his head.Continue reading →
It’s been five years since Rocksteady wrapped up the Batman series that began in Arkham Asylum, continued into Arkham City, took a brief pre-tour with another developer for Arkham Origins, and then crescendoed in Arkham Knight. One of the finale’s most prominent features was also its most divisive: the Batmobile. If you ask someone their opinion of Arkham Knight, you’re likely to also get their opinion of the Batmobile. “Great game, but the Batmobile stuff sucked,” will be a common refrain.
As an observer of game design, driving game aficionado, and professional contrarian, I take issue with this conclusion. It fails to appreciate one of Rocksteady’s best design decisions in an all-around excellent game. So I am here in defense of one of Batman’s greatest toys and how well it was expressed in Rocksteady’s greatest game (although you’ll note my enthusiasm for the Batmobile hadn’t fully developed when I reviewed the game).Continue reading →